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Supporting Your Menstrual Cycle With Movement

Updated: Apr 19

Let’s address a topic that is unique and not often discussed. Each female experiences a menstrual cycle throughout a certain phase of their life and oftentimes the experience can be uncomfortable and undesirable. A key to managing and regulating our cycles is movement. Movement in itself can be used as a strategy to decrease pain and inflammation within our bodies and assist with a healthy menstrual cycle.


During this post, we are going to dive into a series of movements that could benefit your menstrual cycles by good blood flow, lymphatic movement, and reducing inflammation.



Common Menstrual Symptoms

As I mentioned before, many females experience discomfort or irregularity in their menstrual cycles. Some of the symptoms that are common throughout menstrual cycles include: 

  • Cramping

  • Muscle tightness

  • Headaches

  • Generalized pain


As unfortunate as these symptoms are, there are ways to combat them such as nutrition and movement. Although we are going to focus on movement throughout this post, if you’re interested in learning more about nutritional tips for menstrual cycle management, check out the blog post here.


Movement Modification

Each person’s body is different and is true in many different aspects. One specific aspect that each person varies on is their flexibility. Your body’s flexibility can depend on how active you are, what positions you typically place your body in, and if you work on your flexibility intentionally. 


Because of this, it is important to modify the following movements that I direct you in. Different tools that can assist you with these modifications include yoga blankets, yoga blocks, towels, etc. Keep these tools near you during the following exercise routine so that you can modify movements and positions as you go and can continue participating.


Move to Feel Good

During the following series of movements, it’s important to note that we are not working to cause pain or discomfort. If at any point, you begin to feel discomfort, this is your cue to back off and modify the movement to return to a comfortable position. Any movement can be modified and I encourage you to do so as you need.


The instructions are to follow along with the images below and assume the positions pictured. Again, this series of movements is to support your body’s menstrual cycle and can be completed during the premenstrual and menstrual phases. During each position, I encourage you to take deep breaths, practicing five big inhales and five big exhales to engage the respiratory muscles. 


Pay attention to how your body feels during each position and focus on breath and relaxation into each position. Breathwork has various benefits, including stress reduction, improved mental health, reduced body inflammation, and so much more. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of breathwork, check out my blog post here.


Menstrual Cycle Supporting Movements


Bent Knee Snow Angel

a woman demonstrating bent-knee snow angel

Bent Knee Snow Angel + Rotation (each side)

a woman demonstrating lower trunk rotation

Single Knee To Chest (each side)

a woman demonstrating single knee to chest

Single Leg Happy Baby (each side)

a woman demonstrating modified happy baby pose

Full Happy Baby

a woman demonstrating happy baby pose

Low Lunge - Hip Flexor Stretch (each side)

a woman demonstrating a low lunge

Child's Pose

a woman demonstrating child's pose

Child's Pose + Torso Stretch (each side)

a woman demonstrating child's pose with side stretch

Downward Dog

a woman demonstrating downward dog pose

Standing Arms Overhead

a woman demonstrating arms overhead pose

Forward Fold

a woman demonstrating forward fold pose

Bound Angle

a woman demonstrating butterfly stretch

Pigeon Pose (each side)

a woman demonstrating figure-4 stretch

Modified Pigeon Pose (each side)

a woman demonstrating modified figure-4 stretch

Modified Butterfly Pose

a woman demonstrating supine butterfly pose

Supine Inward Reflection

a woman demonstrating supine inward reflection

Focus on Progress Not Perfection

After completing the series of movements, check in with yourself and notice how you feel. Do you feel better? Is there more flexibility within your muscles?


I encourage you to practice these movements regularly, even outside of your premenstrual and menstrual phases to support overall health. If a movement or position is challenging when you first start, that’s okay. Emphasize the progress you see with consistency of practicing this series rather than focusing on perfecting each position. As you continue consistently with this series, you will notice improvements.


Conclusion

Practicing this series is not only great for supporting menses, but can also be beneficial for anyone hoping to relax and overactive pelvic floor or who are experiencing pelvic pain. This series consists of movements that could potentially benefit anyone who tries them simply because they focus on breathwork and being in tune with your body to improve flexibility and comfort.


The power of movement is incredibly important for many of our bodily functions, not just menses. I encourage you to give this series a try and take note of the benefits you see. If you’re interested in learning more about other benefits of movement, check out my blog post here where we dive into deep squatting.


If you'd like to follow along with the video I created for this series, check out the link here.


If you’re interested in learning more about this topic or have questions, feel free to reach out to us at 502-939-8564 or request a consultation here.

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